Btrfs Brings "Pretty Beefy" Changes In Linux 3.2
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 6 November 2011 at 08:14 PM EST. Add A Comment
The pull request for the Btrfs file-system in the Linux 3.2 kernel has finally come in this Sunday. It brings some fairly significant changes for this up-and-coming Linux file-system.

Chris Mason, the Oracle engineer and lead Btrfs developer, began his Btrfs pull request for the Linux 3.2 kernel by saying, "This pull request is pretty beefy, it ended up merging a number of long running projects and cleanup queues."

Among the noteworthy changes to Btrfs in Linux 3.2 compared to Linux 3.1 are many clean-ups and optimizations, scrubber improvements (including performance improvements), error handling fixes, and improved recovery support. There were also some log tree improvements to Btrfs, but they were backed out at the last minute and now a likely candidate for the Linux 3.3 kernel.

The pull request for the Linux 3.2 kernel updates to the Btrfs file-system can be found here. There's 113 Btrfs commits to this kernel's merge window, which touch a total of more than 6,000 lines of code. The Btrfs file-system user-space utilities have been improving too.

Among the benefits of the Btrfs file-system is support for features like checksums, snapshots, space cache, and volume management. There's also fairly nice compression support via LZO and Zlib. The snapshot support in Btrfs allows for features like system roll-backs or quickly finding regressions.

With all of that said, there's a fair chance this "pretty beefy" work to this next-generation file-system will end up making it the default file-system in Fedora 17, which is codenamed the Beefy Miracle. Once Fedora adopts Btrfs by default on new installs, it will only be a matter of time before the other tier-one distributions pick this up as the default on new installations. Most distributions for now at least offer Btrfs as an advanced user option on new installs.

Among the other changes for the Linux 3.2 kernel is a Samsung DRM driver, Intel Poulsbo improvements, open-source GPU driver updates, NVIDIA Tegra 3 support, and many staging area changes. The Linux 3.2 kernel will not officially be released until early 2012 due to the tardiness of the release cycle.

Benchmarks of Btrfs, EXT, et al from the Linux 3.2 kernel will be underway.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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